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Freedom to Learn Te Reo

Kia ora koutou ki te wiki ō te reo Māori!

It has been a wonderful week of celebrating te reo Māori, and the richness that comes with such a time. We are reminded of our similarities and embracing of our differences.

In our classrooms we have te reo Māori intertwined within elements of study and school life, kapa haka groups, the informing of passion and passage through waiata and wero, indeed most schools will have their own haka for visitors, sports teams, honouring those with us and those who have passed on. Te reo Māori is with us and close to us in so many ways.

There are now calls to make learning te reo Māori compulsory in our schools, to force the understanding onto our tamariki, and the New Conservative stance to this is simple.

New Conservative recognises that there is a cost to pay whenever children are further burdened with extra studies, especially when there is compulsion by the state.

“Children already receive excellent intermingling of te reo Māori within their day to day schooling," says Deputy Leader, Elliot Ikilei. "Our whānau should be allowed to decide whether their boy or girl will study in te reo, mandarin, tagalog, or use that time for what they think is best academically...

"...not the state.

"If the current government was serious about improving outcomes for Māori students, they would not have shut down the greatly successful charter schools. They would apologise for shutting those contracts down and allow more diversity in education to develop. If the government was serious about improving outcomes for Māori they would empower those families by giving options, not taking options away and allowing only state-sanctioned directives.

"If we force this into the curriculum, we will increase resentment and disdain for this beautiful language. Let the usage seep into free discussion, cultural practice, tikanga, of each school.

"Encourage, don't force," concludes Mr Ikilei.

New Conservative encourages all of our people to enjoy te reo Māori more.

New Conservative stands opposed to the state determining that te reo Māori must now be added to our children's report card.


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